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Hawk or Vulture

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From: Heidi B
Mokena, IL
I can't distinguish between a hawk or a vulture -although in might be a young vulture... Soaring in the sky -the bird has a distinct white "V" from the bottom of his wings to about 1/2 way toward the top. The top going 1/2 way down looks black. The head is not red, its black too... The wingspan is quite large...

Extension Message
From: Laura Kammin
Visiting Extension Specialist, Pollution Prevention
Extension-Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program
Good morning, My guess would be that you were seeing a turkey vulture. They have two-toned black wings; their flight feathers are lighter. Younger birds have gray heads. But given distance and light conditions it can be difficult to make out the red head of an adult. If the bird was large and soaring while holding its wings in a shallow V shape you can be pretty sure it was a turkey vulture. They rarely flap their wings, and they appear to have a rocking motion when they are soaring.

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